The end of their road trip didn’t go according to plan but the New York Mets (14-9) were still highly successful out West. The Mets went 7-3 on their 10-game West Coast trip, including series victories in Oakland and Los Angeles, which was a solid performance on their longest trip of the year. The reward is a nice seven-game home stand against division foes that begins tonight with the Washington Nationals (7-14) headed to town. First pitch for the opener of this three-game series is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field.
The bottom fell out for Washington in 2022 as the Nationals went 55-107 to finish in dead last in the National League East, 46 games back of the first place Atlanta Braves. The Juan Soto trade signaled the beginning of a lengthy rebuild for Washington so they didn’t splurge in free agency, instead taking fliers on players like Jeimer Candelario, Corey Dickerson, and a pair of former Mets (Dominic Smith and Trevor Williams) who could fill holes at the big league level to buy time for a new wave of prospects to develop. It will be a long year for the Nationals regardless so the Mets should look to take advantage of every opportunity they get to play Washington this season.
Right-hander Jose Butto (0-0, 1.80 ERA) has been recalled from AAA Syracuse to make the start for the Mets tonight in place of the suspended Max Scherzer. Butto pitched well in his last big league start, allowing one run in five innings against the Oakland A’s on April 16, but was not a factor in the decision after the bullpen blew the lead late. The Mets did win in extra innings but Butto was stuck with a no-decision. The Nationals will counter with young righty Josiah Gray (0-4, 3.74 ERA), who was one of the key prospects Washington got back from a 2021 deadline deal that sent Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gray also pitched well in his last start, giving up one run in five innings against the Baltimore Orioles last Tuesday, but was stuck with a tough-luck loss as Washington fell 1-0 in the game.
New York Mets Lineup:
Home sweet home. 🏠 #LGM
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 25, 2023
The Mets went 14-5 against the Nationals in 2022, including a 7-2 mark at Citi Field.
Butto has never faced the Nationals before.
Gray is 0-2 with a 12.00 ERA in three career starts against the Mets.
RHP Edwin Uceta was placed on the 15-day injured list with a left ankle sprain to make room for Butto on the active roster.
Mark Canha will get the night off tonight. Jeff McNeil will start in left field and bat fifth while Luis Guillorme plays second base and hits eighth.
Pete Alonso (3 for 6, 2B, HR, RBI), Eduardo Escobar (2 for 3, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), McNeil (4 for 6, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) and Brandon Nimmo (3 for 6, 2B, 3B) have done well against Gray in the past.